“The first few months of a baby's life can be an equally joyous and demotivating experience for new parents” -Motherly
For expecting parents, you probably know that babies can fuss as much as two to three hours in a 24-hour period (or more!). Since crying is the only way to communicate at this point, it is important to try to understand the reason behind each time they cry.
The infographic below illustrates the most common reasons that may cause your baby to cry.
Most Common Reasons Why Babies Cry
Here are the top 7 ways to help a crying newborn baby calm down.
1. Swaddle him up!
Wrapping him up snugly and securing his arms by his sides would re-create that cozy feeling he enjoyed for nine comfy months
2. Offer a pacifier or let them suck on their thumbs.
Sucking is a newborn's natural reflex through about three months of age. You can also use a washcloth if you don't want him to suck on their thumbs.
3. Turn up the (white) noise.
White noise is sound that reminds babies of being inside the womb. White noise device, vacuum cleaner, the humming sound of a fan, or the recording of a heartbeat would all help to calm a baby. Music can also calm the nervous system, but make sure not to play music that is too high tempo to avoid overstimulating him!
4. Put out the lights.
Babies can easily become overstimulated with all the noise and lights of everyday life. “After all, newborns are used to the quiet, dark confines of the womb”-Dr. Rivers. Creating an ideal sleeping environment to block out all that stimulation can calm them down.
5. Check your diet.
Your diet can affect your baby through your breastmilk
Gas and stomach pain can be the source of some serious infant tears; their still-developing digestive systems can make it difficult to process some of the foods making their way to them through your breastmilk.
For breastfed babies:Moms may try changing their own diet. See if your baby gets less fussy if you cut down on milk products or caffeine. Try avoiding spicy or gassy foods like onions or cabbage. If there is no difference after making the dietary changes, resume your usual diet.
For bottle-fed babies: Ask your child's doctor if you should try a different formula.
6. “Around the world” game.
Take both legs by the thighs and, starting from the baby’s right side and your left, move the legs in a semicircle over the tummy. You have to really push those legs up there but don’t be scared. The first time we tried, it sounded like machine gun fire in Buggy’s pants! We just did it until no more gas came out. FYI: Do not go in the other direction!!!” ’D Rock
7. Distract them.
Sometimes distracting your little one will lead to calming, almost as if you hit the reset button. Try playing puppet with a washcloth or towel, to spark curiosity.
Avoid the ones with bright colors, as it might have the opposite effect on an overstimulated baby. Bringing him to a different room can also help to shift his attention.
Note:there are of course more than the above methods to try to soothe a crying baby, such as giving him a warm bath, following up with a massage. This is known to help with colic babies. Or, try a different feeding position. However, there are really only 2 things you should remember:
- If nothing seems to help: Remember that you are not the cause of her crying. “Sometimes, simply accepting that you have a baby who cries a lot can help” -BabyCenter.
- As your baby grows: He'll learn new ways of communicating his needs to you. As parents, over time you and your partner will also learn to pick up his cues quicker.